Heaven on earth turned into hell. That’s how I see Central America. Between the gringo and their own corrupt leaders, those poor people never stood a chance. The land is some of the richest and most beautiful on earth. As was explained to me, any town between 23 1/2 degrees north latitude, and 23 1/2 degrees south latitude and at 5,000 feet elevation in the mountains, gives you year round spring like temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s! If that ain’t perfect I don’t know what is. The mosquitoes and bugs are a lot less at those elevations too.
The book pictured above, Insight Guides: Central America, is a contradiction in many ways. They paint this ridiculous picture of the indigenous Mayans as being these granola eating, tree hugging simple folk at one with the earth, until the nasty Conquistadors came in and upset the apple cart. As anyone with even a little understanding of the revelations that have come out in the last quarter century about the Mayans, they were one of the most depraved people to ever inhabit the earth.
Their ritualistic killing and enslavement of conquered tribes was absolutely on par with the most barbaric and inhuman there has ever been. Cortez and the boys were almost as bad. The Conquistadors just did their rape, pillage and plunder in a much more civilized fashion. So to speak. Fast forward a few hundred years and the Brits, French and Americans get into the act. Insight Guides reveals a part of American history they never taught you in schools and makes me absolutely embarrassed.
United Fruit and Standard Fruit. These 2 American companies came to be Dole and Chiquita. When they felt their ungodly profits were being downgraded to only obscene by a Central American government, they’d arm “rebels” and overthrow the government. Hence the term, ‘Banana Republic’. If the workers tried to organize and move their wages from despicable to only pitiful, their strike would be met with a US Battleship pulling into port. Our government was completely hand in glove with corporations in the rape of Central America.
I can’t even begin to unwind all the machinations of our cutthroat government every time reforms were attempted there. One of the most unspeakable was what we did in Guatemala. Colonel Jacabo Arbenz Guzman was a reformer president in the early 50’s, having followed another reformer, Juan Jose Arevalo. They were starting to make some real progress returning land stolen from the natives by American corporations. The US branded Arbenz a communist and had the CIA overthrow him. What followed was a civil war that lasted off and on over at least the next 50 years.
Thousands upon thousands of Guatemalan Indians who had nothing to do with the dispute were murdered outright. It was all because the 1% ers didn’t like having their ox gored. Violent reactions result if justice begins to eke out. Insight Guides does a great job detailing a lot of our depraved history in the region. Then they turn around and miss it on the solution.
They criticize Trump for wanting a wall and some control of our borders. They criticize the Obama administration for deporting drug lords back to El Salvador and Nicaragua. They literally lament the resulting murder rates that skyrocket when these thugs are returned to their home country. What?? They come up with this absurd notion that any poor person that speaks Spanish has some God given inherent right to become citizens of the United States!
The problem won’t be solved by America continuing to be the Band-Aid for the graft and corruption of Central America.
All I do know is that between this book and YouTube videos, I have much more of a profound respect for the people and the region of Central America. Since it is clear with the political climate in Washington we will never have control of our border, let’s work with that. Complete that 66 missing miles of the Panamanian Highway. Allow for the free flow of people and goods from the tip of Chile to the top of Alaska. If Latin Americans are flowing up here, let those of us who want to move down there. It looks pretty good during February in Iowa. Let the Americas become one. Its obvious this country is through as a functioning entity, make a new one.
[Most amazingly, I think I can list the Central American countries with out looking. Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama!]